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Grizzlies succumb to Rockets' 3-point barrage to close out preseason

By Updated: October 13, 2018 3:38 PM CT | Published: October 12, 2018 10:04 PM CT
<span><strong>Memphis Grizzlies' Marc Gasol (33) passes the ball while guarded by Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 12, at FedExForum.</strong> (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)</span>

Memphis Grizzlies' Marc Gasol (33) passes the ball while guarded by Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 12, at FedExForum. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

Finishing up the final lap of the preseason, the Memphis Grizzlies showed more of a regular-season rotation early. The Houston Rockets showed midseason form on their 3-point shooting. The Rockets unloaded their 3-point arsenal, all the way down to a Chris Paul 30-footer in the first half, building a 27-point lead en route to a 121-103 victory over the Grizzlies on Friday night in the preseason finale for both teams.

Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff realizes with new faces and plenty of young players on the roster, the Grizzlies are still crafting a team from the pieces, even as the season looms.

“When we do execute properly, we are able to score the ball,” Bickerstaff said. “So, I think we’ll be fine. But again, we are a work in progress, and December 15th, (we) will be a much better basketball team than we are today.”

Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. led the Grizzlies with 18 points, while Mike Conley continued his preseason return from injury with 15 points and a half-dozen assists. Wayne Selden matched Conley’s 15 points and Chandler Parsons had 12, all in the first half.

But the Grizzlies inability to adequately guard the 3-point line, coupled with Houston’s dominance on the boards contributed to another troublesome night for Memphis.

“A lot of it was the easy ones they got from second-chance points,” Conley said of the Rockets early outside shooting success. “Once they’re feeling good, then they make the tough shots. Chris Paul made a seemed-like 30-footer, step back three. I don’t know what the percentages are of him making those normally, but most of the time, you’ll live with a contested shot like that.”

James Harden scored 23 points, while Paul added 14 points and 11 assists to lead Houston.

But the two starting guards were a combined 7-of-13 from outside the arc, part of Houston connecting on 20-of-47 3-pointers. Even that stat was somewhat misleading as Houston made only two of its 10 shots from long range in the fourth quarter as reserves closed out the game.

Clint Capela’s 13 rebounds – along with 12 points -- helped Houston control the boards (45-37), the most glaring part was 16 offensive boards for Houston, compared to only three for Memphis. The offensive board work provided Houston with 20 second-chance points.

NOTES

  • Midway through the second quarter, Houston already was at 13-of-23 from outside the arc. They would finish the half 14-of-26.
  • Parsons was efficient in the first half, connecting on 5-of-8 shots, including a couple of 3-pointers in 18 minutes.
  • Marc Gasol had nine rebounds, but was 1-of-5 from the field.
  • Conley was 3-of-5 from 3-point range, Selden made four of his six shots from outside the arc as Memphis was 12-of-26 from distance.
  • The Grizzlies finished a preseason below .500 (2-3) for the first time since 2014-15.
  • Memphis surpassed 100 points in all but one of the preseason games. They had 86 in Wednesday’s loss at Orlando.
  • Memphis had 25 turnovers, leading to 31 Houston points.
  • Beyond players nursing injuries – Garrett Temple (left ankle soreness) and the previously-mentioned JaMychal Green – Omri Casspi was the only Memphis player to not see action.

TIPPING THE STARTERS: Before the game, Bickerstaff said he was going to use the game similar to the regular-season in regards to starters and rotation. Forward JaMychal Green was a late scratch (left shoulder soreness) moving Jackson into the starting lineup. Otherwise, Conley, Gasol, Kyle Anderson and Parsons started. Selden and Dillon Brooks were first off the Grizzlies bench near the midway point of the first quarter.

REBOUNDING EFFORT: The Grizzlies finished in the lower half of the league last year in rebounding with 42.5 a game. And earlier this week, Orlando held a 54-38 advantage over Memphis in the Magic’s 102-86 win. The lack of rebounding against Houston was just an extension of the problem.

Bickerstaff said his team, particularly with smaller perimeter players, is “not going to go out and get Dennis Rodman-numbers.”

“What we have to do is that everybody has to contribute,” Bickerstaff said. “On every shot that’s taken, everybody has to put a body on their man, and then we’ve got to go get the ball. We’ve got to be a gang-rebound-mentality-type team.”

Conley recognizes guards have to do more and that’s a new responsibility for him.

“I’ve played my whole career not having to rebound,” he said. “Between Z-bo (Zach Randolph), Marc and all the guys that have been here, I’ve just been the guy to run out on the outlet. So, it’s new for me to get in there and get an extra rebound or so.”

NO BOARD WORK: While Jackson led Grizzlies scorers, he was absent in two categories where they need the rookie to contribute. He had zero rebounds and no blocks in the game and committed six turnovers – the latter stat representative of what you might expect from a rookie against the Rockets’ swatting hands on defense.

“I definitely take it personally. That’s my role. That’s my job,” he said. “That’s on me for sure. I have to be more of a presence. I can’t let balls that hit my hands go out of bounds.”

CAPT. CONLEY: Conley has indicated he feels healthy after missing most of last season with an left heel injury. The numbers seem to prove it. Going into the final preseason game against the Rockets, Conley was averaging more preseason minutes per game than any other Memphis player (26.6) and leading the team in scoring at 17.0. He shot 54 percent from the field in the three games he’s played, despite some 3-point struggles (4-of-13).

Conley played just short of 29 minutes against the Rockets, again, the most of the Grizzlies.

UP NEXT

Grizzlies open the season Wednesday at Indiana

 

Memphis

  FG FT Reb
MEMPHIS Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Jackson Jr. 20:50 7-9 2-3 0-0 0 4 18
Parsons 26:44 5-9 0-1 0-1 1 2 12
Gasol 26:38 1-5 4-4 0-9 4 3 6
Anderson 27:38 0-2 4-4 0-6 2 3 4
Conley 28:55 4-7 4-4 0-2 6 0 15
Mack 19:55 4-6 0-0 0-0 4 2 9
Selden 15:40 5-8 1-2 0-1 1 3 15
D.Brooks 15:35 2-6 0-0 0-1 0 1 4
Rabb 12:33 3-3 1-2 2-5 1 2 7
Harrison 10:44 3-6 1-1 0-1 0 2 7
Watanabe 8:41 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 1 2
Moore 4:40 0-1 2-2 0-1 0 1 2
Crawford 4:40 0-3 0-0 0-2 0 0 0
Stephens 4:40 1-1 0-0 1-4 0 0 2
Goodwin 4:40 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 0
M.Brooks 4:12 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 0
Carter 3:15 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Totals 240:00 36-70 18-22 3-37 20 27 102

Percentages: FG .514, FT .818.

3-Point Goals: 12-26, .462 (Selden 4-6, Conley 3-5, Jackson Jr. 2-2, Parsons 2-4, Mack 1-2, Gasol 0-1, Watanabe 0-1, Harrison 0-2, D.Brooks 0-3).

Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 25 (31 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 5 (Watanabe 2, D.Brooks, Gasol, Parsons).

Turnovers: 25 (Jackson Jr. 6, Gasol 5, Anderson 3, Stephens 2, Watanabe 2, Carter, Conley, D.Brooks, Harrison, Mack, Rabb, Selden).

Steals: 8 (Conley 2, Parsons 2, Anderson, Gasol, Harrison, Watanabe).

Technical Fouls: coach Grizzlies (Defensive three second), 3:24 third.

 


Houston

  FG FT Reb
HOUSTON Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Ennis III 21:14 4-6 0-0 2-4 0 4 11
Tucker 26:05 2-6 2-2 1-2 2 2 7
Capela 19:35 4-8 4-6 6-13 1 1 12
Harden 33:43 7-15 5-6 1-6 6 4 23
Paul 30:16 3-6 5-5 1-3 11 6 14
Anthony 26:14 3-10 2-2 0-2 0 3 11
G.Green 17:52 4-9 0-0 2-5 0 3 10
Clark 17:29 2-3 0-2 0-3 0 0 6
Gordon 15:34 5-10 0-0 1-1 1 2 12
Hartenstein 9:50 2-6 6-6 2-4 1 3 10
Edwards 8:41 0-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Sampson 6:45 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Angel Rodriguez 6:42 1-2 3-3 0-0 0 0 5
Totals 240:00 37-86 27-32 16-45 22 28 121

Percentages: FG .430, FT .844.

3-Point Goals: 20-47, .426 (Harden 4-8, Ennis III 3-3, Paul 3-5, Anthony 3-6, Clark 2-3, Gordon 2-5, G.Green 2-7, Tucker 1-5, Hartenstein 0-1, Angel Rodriguez 0-1, Sampson 0-1, Edwards 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 14 (16 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 1 (Harden).

Turnovers: 14 (Harden 6, Paul 5, Sampson 2, Tucker).

Steals: 17 (Paul 3, Sampson 3, Ennis III 2, G.Green 2, Harden 2, Tucker 2, Angel Rodriguez, Anthony, Clark).

Technical Fouls: None.

 


 

  1 2 3 4 T
Houston 31 32 32 26 121
Memphis 21 26 26 30 103

Attendance: 12,576 (18,119).

Officials: Jacyn Goble, Michael Smith, Tony Brothers

Topics

Memphis Grizzlies NBA James Harden Marc Gasol Houston Rockets
Clay Bailey

Clay Bailey

Clay Bailey, a lifelong Memphian, has worked as a reporter in the city almost four decades. He concentrated on suburban coverage. He also is a freelance sportswriter for the Associated Press.


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